Great players make fans cheer. Transcendent players make them gasp.
"And even if it's an unofficial stat, Maya Moore leads the nation in gasps induced," writes ESPN.com columnist Graham Hays. "Moore is the most complete offensive player in the college game, and yet by dint of her defense and work ethic, she could dominate a game without taking a shot -- not that Geno Auriemma would ever let that happen."
No, but everything that has happened at Connecticut this season has revolved around Moore, a 6-foot sophomore forward who is ESPN.com's Player of the Year.
"Moore's sophomore season proved her ability to elevate an already pretty airtight game," ESPN.com columnist Mechelle Voepel writes. "This year, her defense has become even more energized and dynamic, her ability to run the court is sharper, and her leadership skills -- which complement, not compete with, senior Renee Montgomery -- more valuable."
The Huskies are 33-0, have topped the Top 25 polls since the preseason, have beaten three top-five foes by at least 28 points apiece and are just six victories away from capping the fifth perfect season in Division I women's basketball history.
Yes, UConn's starting lineup is littered with former high school All-Americans, and three players helped comprise our 10-member All-America teams (see below). But Moore remains at the heart of the Huskies' success.
"The Huskies shook off the decision of prized recruit Elena Delle Donne not to come to UConn. They dealt with the loss of another freshman, Caroline Doty, to a knee injury. They seamlessly replaced the important, if understated, contributions of last season's senior class," Voepel adds. "And they have answered any and all challenges thus far. Maya Moore's leadership and steady personality are essential to UConn handling all of that."
Moore and Montgomery were both unanimous selections to ESPN.com's five-member first-team All-America team.
A look at the squads, as voted on by Voepel, Hays, Bracketologist Charlie Creme and ESPN.com women's basketball editor Melanie Jackson (stats through games played as of March 11; * denotes unanimous pick):
Also nominated: Kristi Cirone, Illinois State; Jantel Lavender, Ohio State; Ashley Walker, California